More pro-Sunderland comments

(Note: be sure to see Dan R.’s comment about Michael Savage following the initial entry. Savage was not, contrary to what some VFR readers thought earlier, being sarcastic in his support for Abby Sunderland. He was lauding and magnifying her to the skies.)

At a blog called Bleed the Soul, there is an audio of Michael Savage strongly praising Abby Sunderland and her parents, followed by a thread in which most of the commenters agree with Savage. Here’s one comment:

chriscr123 said:
June 12th, 2010 on 9:41 am

She is a good example of someone who embodies the true human spirit. Like Morgan Freeman said, ‘get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’..good stuff.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” This familiar Dylanesque aphorism (from Dylan’s “He not busy being born is busy dying”), when quoted in the context of the Abby Sunderland story, becomes a quintessential expression of the Vitalist stage of Nihilism, defined as the search for endless excitement combined with the denial of truth. The commenter is saying that the only way to be alive is to do extreme, reckless things, such as sailing alone around the world at age 16. If you don’t do such extreme, reckless things, you’re not living, you’re dying. The idea that there is an inherently good order of existence, the idea that there is a good life that can be had short of doing extreme, reckless things, is excluded from the outset. It’s the philosophy of the hipster, looking for his kicks.

Here are the other pro-Sunderland comments at the thread, which are a majority of the comments. Note that the pro-Sunderland commenters see themselves as conservatives standing for conservative, American values against the left.

  • Kids like her are the only ones who will save this country’s future.

  • What a great inspiration for our young that have ambitions , dreams and wonderful understanding parents.

  • we need many more like her.

  • This is the kind of woman I want to marry. An adventurous one like Abby. At least she made it as far as she did. The ocean would have broke all of you weaklings that dispise her and say that you hope the pirates get her and do all sorts of crap to her. This is what’s wrong with America today. Such hate for a person that tries to make something out of themselves. Im so glad she is okay. I have been worried sick.

  • That’s awesome that she kept herself together, and her parents are even more amazing. After hearing how well spoken her brother is, there is more hope than I thought for the future, if people like this are still growing up. The status quo for most of society is being lowered, most make excuses, blame others for their failures. The media hates those who not only do the things that they’ll never dream of doing, but do it so well, it looks easy, & the naysayers look dumb!!

  • She is awesome, I’m glad that there still people like this in the country. Even though the left would like to see them all disappear.

  • Savage is 100% correct. Thank you for covering this. If it weren’t for you we’d never hear about her. The media is silent because doesn’t fit their twisted, Marxist view that tears down everything good and successful and promotes evil, failure and wrong.

  • What else is there to do? Especially in a state of California where kids are having sex, doing drugs and becoming so-called rebels. Abby Sunderland and her family are examples of the classic American family we once had so long ago. I also regret myself for not motivating myself more into going into a mission trip to my homecountry of Peru, Japan or anyway else. Instead I am working two fast food jobs, saving my money to finish one more year in college. I have to do this right for myself.

  • BRAVO for Michael well said about the parent’s 5 stars on that.

  • A truely courageous young woman.

  • She was a bit in over her head but she gave it her best. She has alot of courage for someone so young.

  • I completely agree with Savage on this! It’s ridiculous to read misogynists like Lawrence Auster at his little View From the Right blog criticize her and her family for allowing her to undertake the journey. There are some people on the right so insecure they LITERALLY want women barefoot and pregnant. I’m very happy to hear Savage stand up for this brave girl.

  • Abby for president!

  • A brave young lady. Young women should look to her as a role model. What a warrior.

The pro-Abby commenters are agreeing with Michael Savage. A couple of VFR commenters had said that Savage was being sarcastic in his praise for the Sunderlands. I just listened to his monologue for the first time and I don’t understand what they mean. He is all-out, 100 percent for Abby whom he lauds as representing the best of America, which is why, he says, the left hates her.

- end of initial entry -
Dan R. writes:

You are absolutely correct on Savage. The only sarcasm offered by Savage is directed at the critics of Abby Sunderland.

He prefaces his sarcasm with the following:

“Do you realize what this takes to do what this young lady has done and what her brother did, what great parents these are? Do you understand what great parents these are, that they raise children of this caliber, of this grit? These are the American children that should be held up as role models. They should be given a ticker-tape parade, the two of them. Instead they’re being put down by the nanny men.”

At this point (this is a continuous transcription of the segment, from 2:15 to about 3:20) he launches into his signature sarcasm mode, which ought to be plain to anyone listening to the video:

“Ooh, the parents were wrong for letting her go around the world in a sailboat. Ooh, she wasn’t ready, she should have stayed home and had sex with a sorority girlfriend. She should have stayed home and experrrrimented with drugs the way the mother did. You know, just don’t do anything that I didn’t do. Stay home and go to pahhhrties, learn how to put make-up on…go sit in the back seat of a car like a slut…but don’t go sail around the world…no, let the govt tell you what to do…drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll is okay, but being a hero is not okay.”

And follows with a change in tone, of obvious seriousness:

“And then turn the pervert into the hero and turn the hero into a deviant. That’s the upside down world we live in but I don’t live in that world and neither do you. So I can’t wait for this girl to be heard from. Oh, but you hear all the criticism.”

Any sarcasm was very limited, and it is a complete misreading to say that Savage was being critical of Abby Sunderland. He was clearly lionizing her.

LA replies:

Yes, thanks for this. Now that I’ve listened to Savage myself, I don’t know why some commenters thought he was being sarcastic in his praise for her. I think part of the answer is that he carries on at great length, and with all his emoting going off in different directions, with some schtick mixed in, it can get difficult knowing where he’s coming from.

In any case, Savage is at the forefront of the Abby idolizers. What an appalling commentary on him.

This seems to be Savage’s notion of conservatism: whatever position liberals have, like being critical of Abby Sunderland, the extreme opposite of that position is conservatism.

Dan R. replies:

The left is petrified by what she did—Mitch Albom, for instance, wrote a column critical of her parents—so in knee-jerk fashion she must be a hero, unequivocally. There is much to recommend her for, but you and others have raised the serious questions, some of which are obvious. This is not something we should be encouraging.

D. from Seattle writes:

I wrote about this issue already, but since the discussion is still very much alive, here are some additional thoughts. It seems to me that the “conservative” pro-Sunderland commenters are praising her for, among other things, keeping alive the pioneer spirit; to quote one from a previous post, when “…Americans had courage, fortitude and a sense of adventure”.

What all those commenters are not mentioning is this: in centuries past, when explorers risked their lives, lives of their crews, and boats and supplies that their countries entrusted them with, they did it for a greater purpose. They did it to explore unknown territories, spread the faith to the heathens, find new lands to settle, find new trading partners or mineral wealth. They did it to benefit their countries. They took small armies with them. They did it to further very concrete and practical goals. They didn’t do it alone, just to prove that they can do it—the idea of doing it without a higher purpose would have been incomprehensible to Magellan or Cook. Abby Sunderland’s voyage doesn’t serve any of the purposes of the old explorers.

Of course I realize that we live in a modern society and that there are many things that we do for fun that were not available to our forefathers—not that we are better off for it. But I somehow think that fun is supposed to be “funded” with our excess time and excess wealth, if we have any. Sunderlands claim they aren’t wealthy, but sending your kid on a solo trip in a boat and with the equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars sure seems, to me and to 99.9999% of the population of this planet, like a thing only the wealthy could do. I’m not going to tell Sunderlands what to do with their money, but as a non-wealthy parent (not as many kids as Sunderlands) I would not risk funds that I could use to pay for other kids’ education to send just one of them on a self-fulfillment trip around the world. I would also not risk the life of that kid in hopes that they would survive the journey and then be able to earn extra money by selling books or movie rights.

I wonder what all those “conservatives” would do if their kids wanted to do something similar to what Abby Sunderland did. If they are true to their convictions, we should see many more underage kids attempting similar stunts in the coming months and years. After all, how could their parents deny them their self-fulfillment after praising Abby and her parents? Time will tell.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 17, 2010 08:49 AM | Send

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